Didos Al Dente: Old Pasta Eatery in Zamalek
26 Bahgat Aly St.
11am - 4am
unfamiliar with Cairo’s dining scene might take a first glance at this cute,
little white-window framed restaurant in Zamalek and be curious as to what they
have to offer when it comes to feeding the belly. Fashioning itself with
Italian flair, its dishes reigned satisfying in its early days. All of that has
been around for quite some time now and was once a familiar hotspot known for
its cheap, large-portioned pasta dishes. Its first location, situated on Taha Hussein
Street in Zamalek and around the corner from the old AUC dormitories, initially
provided many students with access to a dish loved by all: pasta. Over the
years, they’ve expanded into other neighbourhoods in Cairo but as fortune
would have it, or the lack of fortune we should say, it just can’t get its main
The menu has
more or less stayed the same since they opened. Appetisers consisting of
bruschetta, caprese salad and Greek salad can all be found on the menu. Topped
with diced tomato, basil and melted mozzarella, the bruschetta al pomodoro (12LE)
is satisfactory at best and is the one thing on the menu that didn’t leave us
including Napoli, Fungi, Vegetariana and Margarita run between 25LE-40LE and the restaurant’s pasta dishes (18LE-40LE)
include a few ‘specialties’ that we just can’t muster up the guts to try,
namely the costoletta special – breaded veal escalope topped with 4 kinds of
cheese and mushroom – and pasta cordon.
execution wasn’t always a letdown with its habitually over-cooked, swimming in
sauce-and-cheese pasta dishes, we’d give them the thumbs up for a few of their
simpler dishes. The Alla Cream Di Noci (25LE) is served with your choice of
pasta and a rich walnut, pine nut and parmesan cream sauce. Similarly, the Al
Pesto is usually our go-to pick when times are tough. Other options include Al
Quattro Fromaggi (29.50LE) and Alla Carbonara with your choice of smoked beef
or salami (29LE).
and again, our stomachs speak louder than our minds and out of desperation, we
give Didos another try with a dash of hope that things might have changed –
maybe the chef has learned a lesson or two? It never seems to be the case,
though, and we’re once again left disappointed.